'Joint Custody and Shared Parenting - Are the Courts Listening?' Justice of the Peace, Vol 165, (49), (2001b), pp963-966
a partnership is at an end. Of course there are exceptions, when some kind of unsupervised or even supervised contact is preferable - the latter in particular when past abuse of the child is suspected or proven. While the child or children must be the main concern, this is linked closely to the family: ie, both of the parents and the child or children. The concept of joint custody and arrangements facilitating are preferable whenever possible. This is not usually an issue when all parties involved experience healthy, caring relationships prior to the parents' separation. But, whatever the natural advantages may be, joint custody also poses problems from time to time.
happen when the excluded individual poses a physical, emotional or sexual danger to the children. It should never occur as a result of alienation by one parent against the other (sometimes termed parental alienation syndrome (PAS): Gardner 1987; 1989; 1992;1998; 2001. Lowenstein 1998; 1999 a, b, c; 2000; 2001).
themselves to one or other of the parties. Children attempt to seek some semblance of security or normality. Gardner (1982) points out that joint custody is not for everyone, even if it is an ideal when it can be achieved as a result of the maturity and goodwill of the parents. If it is imposed on parents who are in conflict, it is unlikely to prove beneficial. If it is to work, parents must be able to put aside their personal animosities towards each other and concentrate on what is likely to be in the best interests of the children and what each individually can do to foster security for them. This should be their main aim. Thereby both parents have a combination of equal rights and responsibilities as to the welfare of their children, despite the fact they no longer live together.